Catching up with

Lori Sellmer Design

Design: Lori Sellmer Design Inc.

Photography: MJay Photography

Lori Sellmer has been one to watch for a while now. Since launching her own business in 2012, Lori Sellmer Design Inc. has taken the Calgary design scene by storm, and her company has grown based on the principles of original design and strong client relationships - one of the many reasons we love working with her at CF Interiors! At a young age, Lori found her passion for design, working with some of Calgary's more renowned homebuilders, before entering the interior design world feet first. We took some time to catch up with Lori - scroll for the full interview to get to know her!

Photo Credit: MJay Photography

An Interview With Lori Sellmer

Take us back to where it all began - tell us a little about your background and what brought you to start your design firm.

I've wanted to be an architect or designer since I was about 10 years old, and started drawing houses and cutting furniture out of magazines to paste in the rooms. I attended SAIT and earned a diploma in Architectural Technologies before I started my career as a draftsperson and designer at one of Calgary's largest homebuilders. After a few years, I transitioned into their interior design department and was able to hone my interior design skills. After having my second daughter in 2012, I decided to start my own firm to have the flexibility to be a mom and work at the same time. Lori Sellmer Design is almost a decade old now!

How would you describe your design style and aesthetic? If you have a few different styles, what’s your favourite style?

My personal design style is fairly eclectic, yet elegant and classic. I like spaces that are timeless with some traditional details. Then, I typically lean toward clean lines mixed with texture when it comes to furnishing those spaces. Europe is a big influence for me, as we lived in Spain and the UK for a time, and I developed an appreciation for the "oldness" and history that we sometimes lack here in North America. That said, I am VERY client focused and client inspired. I always hope each design embodies the client's taste and tells the story of who they are. We deal with all different design aesthetics and I love that! I never want to feel like a one trick pony.

Photo Credit: MJay Photography

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Where do you look for inspiration?

Both travelling and my clients are my biggest source of inspiration. I often start to feel a space come together and envision it as I get to know someone - even at the first meeting.

Are there any upcoming design trends you’re looking forward to?

Warmer tones for neutrals!! Also the calmness of the Japandi trend that mixes Scandinavian design with rustic old world Japanese influences is one that really appeals to me. Simple clean lines, yet warmth through the texture and natural materials.

Which design movement is, to you, the most timeless?

I've always loved the sophistication of Art Deco. Being effortlessly chic is always in fashion.

Photo Credit: MJay Photography

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What do you love most about being part of the design community?

I love being part of a profession that is filled with such creativity, diversity of ideas, and supportive amazing people that feel secure enough to root for each other's success. Also, so many women-owned businesses are amazing!

If you could share one key design tip to really make a house feel like a home, what would it be?

Designing with or around any item or style that you personally LOVE or has sentimental value - that never goes out of style.

Photo Credit: MJay Photography

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We’ve all had to do some adjusting over the last year and a half. What challenges have you faced over this period, and how did you manage to pivot? Any key learnings you'd like to share?

First and foremost, patience and empathy has been our motto this year. Everyone's going through something, and having the ability to be flexible and understanding, whether it's design intentions that have to be fluid, or a clients' comfort levels with meetings and trades in and out, has been priority one. Secondly, you can't always get what you want, when you want it this year! We're all just learning to find alternatives and go with the flow. We've also updated some of our processes to be even more proactive. This is to make sure that we get the items that have been a particular problem with long lead times ordered first. Even if that isn't the order the contractor asks for it or needs to install it.

SHOP LORI SELLMER'S CF PICKS

Accent chair with cozy boucle fabric
black leather coffee table

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